Center for National and International Studies
“Countless murders, ruined lives, torture of thousands of innocent people, imprisonment of thousands of people, sacrificing the independence of a country of millions of people to the interests of one person will not go unpunished.”
The War between Ukraine and Russia
While intense fighting continues in Ukraine, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has stated that Russia, which conducts military operations against Ukraine, has lost its right of representation. On Friday, 42 of the 47 members of the Council of Europe voted in favor of suspending Russia’s membership. While Russia and Armenia voted against, Serbia and Azerbaijan did not take part in the vote, and Turkey abstained from voting. Since its membership in 1996, Russia has been sanctioned before in 2014 after its annexation of Ukraine’s the Crimean Peninsula.
Meydan Tv reported that three members of an Azerbaijani family living in Ukraine were killed in an airstrike by Russian forces in the city of Kherson. Ukrainian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladislav Kanevsky noted on his social network page: “Today, as a result of the Russian airstrike on the Ukrainian city of Kherson, the wife and children of Goshgar Farzaliyev from the Jabrayil region of Azerbaijan were killed. We offer our deepest condolences and call on the whole world not to remain silent! ”
Meydan TV reported that An Azerbaijani was killed during street fighting in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov. The statement came from Samir Adigozalli, chairman of the Center for Public Political Processes and International Studies at the Azerbaijani Consulate in Ukraine. The deceased was a guest from Azerbaijan and was shot during a street shooting. Adigozalli also stressed that last night a car convoy of our compatriots trying to leave Odessa was fired upon. As a result, 3 Azerbaijanis died.
According to independent journalists, at least eight Azerbaijanis have been killed since the war began in Ukraine.
Reactions to War: Rallies and Statements
Rallies and protests in support of Ukraine continue across the globe. In Berlin, anti-war rally drew at least 100,000 participants. Russians who were against the war took to the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and several other cities. Russian police brutally dispersed the protests and detained at least 1400 Russians across the country. Meanwhile, in Baku, hundreds gathered in front of the Ukrainian embassy to express solidarity. The anti-war rally in Baku went smoothly without police intervention. Protesters chanted “Slava Ukraine”, “Slava Zelensky” and anti-war slogans waving the national flags of Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Reacting to the peaceful protest in Baku, activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev said that the police should be thanked for their respectful treatment of the protestors during the rally. Hajiyev wrote: We have to thank the police for this. We want to see our police respecting the rights of citizens to assemble and express their views freely in all peaceful protests.”
Chairman of APFP Ali Karimli argued that “if Azerbaijan were a free country, the biggest support rally for Ukraine would be held in Baku.” Karimli wrote: “Our people are always for freedom and justice and are against dictatorships and oppressors. The people of Ukraine, the people of Azerbaijan, and all other oppressed peoples will win this fight. The end of oppression and tyranny is approaching.”
Member of NCDF, Tofig Yagublu said that, unlike president Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijani people unanimously stand with the President of Ukraine, Zelensky. According to Yagublu, by signing an alliance declaration with Putin, Aliyev admitted that he is “not the president of the nation, but a governor appointed by Putin.”
Member of REAL party, Natig Jafarli argued that “the only reason why the absolute majority of Azerbaijani society supports Ukraine is not only because Ukraine is right to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty, but also because of the tragedy of January 20, the horror of Khojaly.” According to Jafarli, by taking side with Ukraine, Azerbaijanis protest against Russia, which has army in the Karabakh region under the name of peacekeeping forces.
Member of APFP Fuad Gahramanli argued that in the long run, Putin’s current strategy would bring his own end. Gahramanli wrote: “Putin is not only defeated but also shamed. On the one hand, the military technology he was boasting about turns out to be scrap metal, the death toll is more than expected, his army is weak and useless, and on the other hand, he sees that the whole world hates him and equates him with Hitler. As if that were not enough, Putin also fears that the Russian people, who have been left destitute and suffering from an economic catastrophe, will stand up, and Putting will share Gaddafi’s fate. Therefore, he is becoming more aggressive every day.”
Activist Rabiyya Mammadova argued that “Putin himself is the head of the 5th column of the Russian Federation.” According to her, no organization, no other country could harm a Russian citizen as much as Putin does now. “He did nothing to the country, created Russophobia, made the ruble a piece of paper,” added Mammadova.
Exiled Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was among those who shared his opinion in support of Ukraine. Mukhtarli wrote: “I am sure that thousands of Russian soldiers do not want to fall victim to Putin‘s ambitions. They are ready to put down their weapons. But in this case, a criminal case will be filed against them. Therefore, the EU, Britain, and the United States must guarantee immunity and asylum to Russian servicemen who voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender. If there is such a guarantee, the already morally disintegrated Russian army will collapse. This decision will be more dangerous for the Russian army than missiles. We have prepared a petition with such a request. Friends, sign the petition and publish it as much as you can. Those who do not want to fight should know that their lives are not in danger.”
Chairman of APFP, Ali Karimli urged that the world community must be able to stop the aggressors and save Ukraine. Karimli wrote: The Ukrainian people are doing everything to protect their independence and freedom. Even Russia is surprised by their fierce resistance. But the sacrifices of Ukrainians alone are not enough to save the world order. It is not only the Ukrainian people who are being tested today, the international community is also being tested.” Karimli also added that one by one, all dictators will be punished. “Countless murders, destroyed lives, torture of thousands of innocent people, imprisonment of thousands of people, sacrificing the independence of a country of millions of people to the interests of one person will not go unpunished”, added Karimli.
30 years since the Khojali Massacre
February 26 was the anniversary of the Khojali Massacre when more than 600 civilians were brutally killed by the local Armenian armed forces and the 366th Motor Rifle Regiment of CIS during the occupation of the Khojaly city of Azerbaijan. According to the official statistics, 613 ethnic Azerbaijanis, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly people, were massacred. 1,275 civilians who were taken hostages were subjected to gruesome tortures. 475 people were injured, and 150 people went missing.
In his address devoted to the memories of the victims, head of APFP Ali Karimli said that “today heirs of the 366th Regiment are still bombing civilians in Kyiv and Kharkiv.”
On the day of commemoration, the chairman of NCDF, professor Jamil Hasanli wrote on FB that it is the irony of the history that after three decades, Azerbaijan signed a declaration of alliance with those who were directly involved in ethnic cleansing in Khojali. Hasanli’s post reads: “30 years passed. Khojaly is a symbol and should have been the first settlement to be liberated. However, it was not liberated. Instead, 30 years later, a declaration of alliance was signed with those who directly were involved in the occupation of Khojaly. A monument to the Russian military victory was erected in its streets. It is a unique irony of history to sign a declaration of alliance with those who took part in the occupation of Khojaly and demand justice for Khojaly. Khojaly should not be repeated. Therefore, we stand with Ukrainian people.”
March 1, 2022